Happy Birthday Dad

Today’s my dad’s birthday. I talked with him this morning and he and mom are doing fine.

My dad’s a big fan of the Bashful Bob radio show “Sho-Nuff Country” on WEVL-FM90 in Memphis. I record his programs on Wednesday mornings and send him the tapes. Today’s Bob’s birthday too.

Several years ago I did a story on Bashful Bob for the Memphis tv station. CBS was airing the Association of Country Music Awards that night and we put together a story for the early newscast to promote the show. We chose Bashful Bob even though his program doesn’t play the type of country music that’s now picking up awards or nominations.

Bob Letson was a delight to interview. His show (airing from 10am-2pm Wednesdays) is a nostalgic trip back into the 50s and 60s of country music radio. Not only does the music he plays make you feel like you’re in a time-machine, but the way he hosts the show takes me back to my childhood.

Bob reads his own psas and promos. He introduces his records (yup, a lot of records) in a style you don’t hear anymore. Right now as I’m listening he’s playing “Luther played the boogie-woogie” from Johnny Cash.

My favorite quip from Bashful Bob came one day at the end of the year when he was listing all of the country music stars who had passed away. He must have been reading it off of an Associated Press wire story that listed the date of death by the numbers instead of the months, because he said “Tammy Wynette passed away on 4…er…january, february, march, april… on april 6th of this year.” I could almost see him counting the months on his fingers.

Funny thing about Bob’s music though, a lot of modern day rockers listen to old time country music. He told me one day he got a phone call from a guy named Joe Perry requesting a Hank Williams song. Bob didn’t know the name Joe Perry until someone at the station told him he was the lead guitarist for a group called Aerosmith. They had been playing at the Pyramid the night before. Cool huh?

So Happy Birthday Dad, and Bob. Thanks for introducing me to old-time country music.


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